Molecular Gas in Infrared Ultraluminous QSO Hosts

The Astrophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 6.73). 02/2012; 750(2). DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/750/2/92
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT We report CO detections in 17 out of 19 infrared ultraluminous QSO (IR QSO)
hosts observed with the IRAM 30m telescope. The cold molecular gas reservoir in
these objects is in a range of 0.2--2.1$\times 10^{10}M_\odot$ (adopting a
CO-to-${\rm H_2}$ conversion factor $\alpha_{\rm CO}=0.8 M_\odot {\rm (K km
s^{-1} pc^2)^{-1}}$). We find that the molecular gas properties of IR QSOs,
such as the molecular gas mass, star formation efficiency ($L_{\rm
FIR}/L^\prime_{\rm CO}$) and the CO (1-0) line widths, are indistinguishable
from those of local ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs). A comparison of
low- and high-redshift CO detected QSOs reveals a tight correlation between
L$_{\rm FIR}$ and $L^\prime_{\rm CO(1-0)}$ for all QSOs. This suggests that,
similar to ULIRGs, the far-infrared emissions of all QSOs are mainly from dust
heated by star formation rather than by active galactic nuclei (AGNs),
confirming similar findings from mid-infrared spectroscopic observations by
{\it Spitzer}. A correlation between the AGN-associated bolometric luminosities
and the CO line luminosities suggests that star formation and AGNs draw from
the same reservoir of gas and there is a link between star formation on $\sim$
kpc scale and the central black hole accretion process on much smaller scales.

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